Wildlife Conservation Society

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Ft. Collins, Co Or Bozeman, Montana

About the Organization and the Rocky Mountain West Regional Program

Established in 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a global conservation organization that saves wildlife and wild places through science, conservation, education, and inspiring people to value nature. Our goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity.

The Rocky Mountain West (RMW) Region is one of these 16 regions—a globally important, highly biodiverse place where WCS focuses its conservation efforts. The RMW Region extends from the Southern Rockies of the American Southwest to the Canadian National Parks of southern Alberta and British Columbia, and it is home to iconic transboundary wildlife including wolves, grizzly bears, elk, caribou, bison, and wolverine.

WCS’s goal for the RMW Region is to establish, expand, and strengthen an efficient and effective network of permanent protected areas embedded in a matrix of well-managed public, private, and tribal lands that together secure the long-term needs of wildlife facing a growing human footprint and threats from climate change and water scarcity. From the Path of the Pronghorn, the first federally recognized wildlife migration corridor in the United States, to protecting large roadless areas in the Crown of the Continent, and collaborating with Indigenous partners to restore free-ranging bison on tribal lands where bison are of critical cultural and economic importance, WCS conducts applied research and shapes management and policy decisions, working on behalf of wildlife to achieve our conservation goals.

Regional Director, Rocky Mountain West Region

The Wildlife Conservation Society seeks a dynamic and respected individual to develop and lead its conservation program in the Rocky Mountain West (RMW) Region. One of a cadre of regional directors who lead WCS’s global efforts to conserve the world’s remaining wild places, the RMW Regional Director is a new position within the WCS Americas Program, a 15-country portfolio of conservation programs spanning the western hemisphere from Canada to Chile.                    

WCS’s work in the RMW is changing in geographic scope and programmatic focus, and we are seeking a leader who will set a new course for our work in the region. Within an expanded geography that extends from southern Canada to the US-Mexico borderlands, the new RMW program will engage in a broader range of conservation issues affecting a diverse array of wildlife species and human communities. The Regional Director will lead the design and execution of a transboundary conservation strategy by identifying the policy and management decisions that represent critical opportunities for long-term conservation of the region’s globally important biodiversity. Operating strategically at this large regional scale and engaging new constituencies in conservation will be key to the program’s success. Harnessing WCS’s expertise and resources, the Regional Director will guide a multidisciplinary RMW program team to build support for our conservation goals and achieve meaningful impact.

Working seamlessly across borders, the Regional Director will lead a portfolio of landscape-level and cross-cutting programs in the U.S., Canada, and potentially, Mexico. S/he will foster trusted relationships with key partners and donors to achieve shared outcomes, and collaborate with other WCS staff to strengthen the financial sustainability of the conservation portfolio. As a member of the Americas Program leadership team, the Regional Director will work closely with other Regional Directors and the Vice President, Americas to guide the overall development of the Americas Program and foster collaboration between regions and across the hemisphere. The Regional Director will report to the VP, Americas.

Position Objectives

  • Develop and lead a program that contributes significantly to the conservation of priority wildlife and landscapes across the Rocky Mountain West Region.
  • Ensure the program delivers high-quality, science-based, applied conservation information that is trusted by partners, conservation stakeholders, and decision makers.
  • Successfully advocate for WCS’s conservation objectives in wildlife management and policy decisions that affect the region.
  • Establish a high capacity team equipped with the resources and skills they need to achieve impact within a program that is sustainably resourced.
  • As part of the Americas Program leadership team, contribute to the development, execution, and representation of program strategies and initiatives to achieve WCS’s conservation mission.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify priority conservation landscapes, priority wildlife species, and key policy and management decisions within the RMW Region that represent critical opportunities for conservation, and develop a conservation strategy to align WCS efforts with these priorities.
  • Define a set of measurable outcomes to achieve WCS’s conservation goals in the RMW Region that capitalizes upon WCS strengths in the region, responds to current and emerging challenges, adopts innovative approaches, and aligns with the WCS 2020 institutional strategy.
  • Build a regional program grounded in the different contexts of and WCS presence in each country in the region (Canada, US, Mexico) and ensure that the program functions seamlessly across these borders.
  • Foster a network of partners and supporters among key stakeholders, including funders, government agencies, indigenous groups, local communities, the media, and public, and find opportunities for strategic collaboration within that network.
  • Build and manage a multidisciplinary team, ensuring high-quality performance and cultivating a positive and collaborative organizational culture.
  • Collaborate with the fundraising departments of WCS and WCS Canada to develop and execute a fundraising strategy based on robust financial planning to diversify and expand the donor base.
  • Collaborate with the VP, Americas and a cohort of Regional Directors to guide development of the Americas Program and build synergies across the continent.
  • Travel extensively within the Rocky Mountain West and beyond to build partnerships and to represent WCS at priority regional and international events.
  • Contribute to, enlarge, and uphold WCS’s policies towards Equal Employment Opportunities for women, minorities, the handicapped, and other protected groups.


  • Experience leading a successful multidisciplinary conservation program, preferably in the Rocky Mountain West region.
  • A strong background in applied conservation, with demonstrable expertise and experience in conservation policy, science, law, economics, communications, or another relevant field
  • Familiarity with the conservation and management priorities, challenges, and governance contexts in the Rocky Mountain West, preferably in both the U.S. and Canada
  • Strategic vision, diplomacy, and proven ability to engage and motivate both colleagues and external stakeholders to achieve mission-driven goals
  • Ability to lead and inspire a team, to build capacities within the team, and to mentor staff
  • Excellent relationship-building and communication skills and demonstrated success working with diverse partners, especially in intercultural contexts
  • Ability to attract funders by communicating a compelling and inspired sense of purpose
  • Significant and diverse fundraising experience highly desirable
  • Strong reputation and network among conservation organizations and leaders highly desirable
  • Willingness to travel extensively in North America
  • Dedication to conservation and to the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society

Compensation and Location

WCS offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The Regional Director will be based out of either Fort Collins, Colorado, or Bozeman, Montana, and will travel regularly throughout the RMW region, to WCS’s headquarters in NYC, and elsewhere, as necessary, to represent the program. WCS offers relocation assistance and is open to visa sponsorship.

To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting WCS with this search. To be considered for this position, please click on the "Apply" button to submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is an equal opportunity employer.

CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit www.cearecruiting.com.

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